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Next Phase of Cool Pavement Program Begins

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announces the next phase of the city's Cool Pavement Program, which began in 2020.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego joined city staff and researchers from Arizona State University on Wednesday to announce and demonstrate the next phase of the city's Cool Pavement Program, which began in 2020.

This week, pavement rehabilitation crews began applying a cool pavement seal coat to neighborhood streets within the boundary of 19th and 15th avenues between Broadway and Roeser​ roads in South Phoenix.

During Wednesday's event, Mayor Gallego, Phoenix Street Transportation Department Director Kini Knudson, and Office of Heat Response and Mitigation Director David Hondula provided remarks to the media and showcased the application process taking place near 15th and Atlanta avenues.

This next round of the ongoing program and study will analyze two new asphalt coatings that have higher reflective values than the material applied to nine select citywide sites last year. One coating is the same light gray color and the other is a darker gray. City staff and researchers also will analyze the durability of the coating during this next phase.

In 2020, the city selected portions of eight neighborhoods, one in each City Council district and part of the parking lot in Esteban Park, to receive the cool pavement treatment. The asphalt coating was applied to areas already in need of a pavement seal coat. The city then partnered with ASU researchers to conduct scientific tests of the cool paved areas, studying how it performed and how it might be used to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

Asphalt collects and retains heat during the day and releases it at night. Phoenix is among several cities that are experiencing the urban heat island effect, particularly overnight, due to the retention of heat within the built environment. Higher nighttime temperatures lead to more energy consumption, more greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and other harmful effects.

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